Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Year, Content Feelings

Reflecting on this past year, I realized it was a pretty awesome year for us. There were no major heartaches or hard events. No, 2011 was a year of healing, blessing, and so much fun! Here is a list of the things I am thankful for from 2011:

  • Four feet of fresh powder for our first snowboarding trip of the season.
  • Two more snowboard trips.
  • Began tutoring at the Tenderloin After School Program.
  • Enjoyed a membership at the Modern Museum of Art.
  • Found Lighthouse Church, which became our home church.
  • Beloved Community in Daly City where we made some amazing friends.
  • Coffee with Lindsey Smith weekly.
  • Deepening relationships in my Masters Classes (e.g. Beer Club).
  • Trip to Colorado to see JJ and Tessa.
  • A 36 miles round trip bike ride for Danny's Birthday (1,000 ft elevation gain).
  • Five weddings. Danny was in two of them.
  • Celebrated our 1st Wedding Anniversary in 40 mph gusts of winds while camping with Danny's family in Gaviota California. A unique celebration that was a perfect way to celebrate our crazy first year.
  • Had a professor tell me that he was really impressed with my growth since starting my program.
  • Completed my first year of my Masters program: 100+  written pages, 1,000+ read pages, and millions of conversations later, I have learned so much!
  • A week in Coasta Rica with the Halls for my first family vacation with them.
  • Celebrated my mom turning 70 in June with a surprise tea party!
  • Spoke about Race, ethnicity, and reconcilation during InterVarsity's Fresno Urban Internship.
  • Worked with Destination Science during the summer: Great to contribute to the household expenses and to work daily with kids.
  • Summer in the City: Concerts at Stern Grove, a trip to Sonoma, Outside lands concert, bike trips to explore.
  • Joined the Hall Fantasy Football league, so participated in my first "Draft Day" (yes, it is a whole day, where we draft together in person).
  • Camping in the Redwoods with Church friends.
  • Went to my first college football game (Stanford vs UCLA).
  • Tailgated for the first time.
  • Saw Charlie, my brother-in-law play a couple of times with the UCLA band.
  • Blue Angels/Fleet week, enough said.
  • My other brother-in-law, Andy and his girlfriend came for a visit one weekend.
  • We moved to a more sunny, less hilly, and mold-free area of SF.
  • We now live below Dorothy, a friend from church, who is quickly become our SF family.
  • Went to the Academy of Sciences for FREE!
  • Backpacked with Danny in Marin headlands.
  • A surprise birthday party for me!
  • A wonderful holiday season with my mom and extended family at Thanksgiving and Danny's family at Christmas.
The main theme for me this year has been family. Danny and I continue to build our own family while learning how to be apart of each other's root family. Nothing like a week trip in a foreign country to bond you with your in-laws! Our church community is beginning to feel more  like family as we continue to develop friendships with them. As a church, we also want to take our "family" into the larger community of San Francisco and welcome more people into our relationships. For me, my "school friends" have also become a sort of family: I call them "my people". They understand me more than any other group of people I have ever encountered. we are there for each other as we sort through many emotions and thoughts. They challenge me as I dream of what I will be when I "grow-up" and hold me accountable to making a difference in the world.

I know that 2011 was not so good for other people. For that I feel blessed, humbled, and grateful for such an amazing year. I did not deserve such a wonderful year, but the Lord has been good to me. May 2012 be such a year for you no matter what 2011 was like.

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